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Business leaders convene at Stanford to share ideas on scaling-up bicycling in their organizations


CorpBikeForum-34-X3.jpgPhotos: Shea Mack

Parking & Transportation Services hosted a Corporate Bike Forum on April 16 in partnership with Bikes Make Life Better, a business-to-business consulting firm helping organizations meet their environmental, social, and financial goals by creating and supporting sustainable bicycle programs.

The event, held at the Knight Management Center, drew more than 30 leading Silicon Valley businesses to share best practices and what challenges they face with their bicycle programs.

Professor Robert Sutton, Department of Management Science & Engineering and co-author of Scaling Up Excellence, was the opening speaker. He shared lessons from his book on how to build and identify pockets of exemplary performance and spread goodness throughout organizations, which includes encouraging more people to bike.

This isn’t the first time Sutton applied his scaling-up-excellence principles to the topic of bicycling. In 2012, he was an advisor for a Stanford class project on how to scale-up bicycle helmet use on campus. The class project was included in the book.

Discussions during the forum focused on innovative bicycle technology, bike share programs, the increase in e-bike options, promotional efforts to change behavior and the challenges in getting more people on bikes. Joachim Bendix Lyon, organizational ethnographer, Department of Management Science & Engineering, wrapped up the session with a discussion of lessons learned.

But the day didn’t end there. Drew Brown, campus planner in the Stanford University Architect/Campus Planning and Design office, and Ariadne Scott, P&TS bicycle program coordinator, co-led a one-hour bike tour to provide insights into Stanford’s bicycle planning processes. They also highlighted bicycle friendly features and infrastructure on campus, such as bike racks and bike locker compounds and the new roundabout at Campus Drive at Escondido Road.

“Stanford has one of the nation’s leading bicycle programs, as evidenced by our Platinum-Level Bicycle Friendly University award from the League of American Bicyclists,” said Brian Shaw, director or Parking & Transportation Services. “We value opportunities, such as this Bike Forum, not only to share what we do as a way to help others develop their own programs, but also to learn from them. This event convened key leaders of the best transportation programs in the Bay Area and beyond. The more we learn from each other, the better it will be for our programs and, more importantly, for the bicyclists in our organizations.”

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